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galiano Dec 17th, 2004 08:27 PM

If our plane lands in HK at 7pm can we be at hotel by 9pm
 
We're arriving in Hong Kong at 7 pm on the night of the Chinese New Years fireworks and are hoping that we can be out of the airport and downtown by the time they start at 9 pm. Is this possible ? What would be the fastest way to the New World Renaissance to drop or bags ?


rhkkmk Dec 17th, 2004 09:10 PM

no problem if you come right through customs quickly...its about a 30 minute ride...get right off the plane quickly...take a taxi to your hotel...you will be very happy with that hotel..

rkkwan Dec 17th, 2004 09:37 PM

On normal days, that won't be a problem. But I believe on the night of the fireworks, some streets will be closed, and the area near the New World Renaissance will be very crowded.

You may want to call the hotel to find out what will be the best way.

galiano Dec 17th, 2004 09:50 PM

Now if I could only confirm that the fireworks start at 9 pm. Oh and we are 2 couples so would need 2 cabs ? How long is the cab ride and what cost ? Lots of questions ! ! :-)

rkkwan Dec 17th, 2004 11:08 PM

Again, I can only tell you about normal days. The night of the fireworks isn't one of them.

Taxi cabs in Hong Kong are usually Toyota Crown Comfort. It's slightly smaller than a Ford Crown Victoria, but can sit 4 (and even 5) people without luggage. Of course, you'll have luggage, and that can be a problem. Many cab drivers leave a lot of junk in the trunk, so you can't expect to put 3-4 large suitcases.

The ride to Tsimshatsui should take about 35-40 minutes, and is about HK$300 (US$40) per cab.

Alternatives to get to your hotel are the Airport Express train to Kowloon station, and then switch to the free shuttle bus or taxi(s). But the shuttle may not run on the night of your arrival. Regular price is HK$90 per person, but a group of 4 can ride together for HK$220 (US$30). About 20 minutes to Kowloon, but who knows about transportation to your hotel that night.

Or, there are hotel shuttles that cost about $90 per person to Tsimshatsui hotels.

DonTopaz Dec 18th, 2004 09:20 AM

The streets around your hotel will almost surely be closed to regular traffic, though taxis might be allowed in. However, many drivers will not want to get stuck in that area.

I would strongly recommend taking a private car service from the airport to your hotel. The hotel can almost certainly arrange it (many hotels operate their own cars, others have arrangements with airport-based services). The driver will meet you as you exit from customs, and he'll take your bags, lead you to the car, and drop you at the hotel front door. If it's the hotel's car and driver, most of the check-in formalities will be done by the time you reach the hotel.

Most of the cars are Mercs that are better suited to 2 or 3 people plus luggage, though the hotel might be able to propose a larger car to accommodate all of you in 1 car. The cost is likely to be about US$80-100.

galiano Dec 18th, 2004 09:52 AM

Hey this is just excellent advice. Thank you all so far !

Anyone know for sure when the fireworks start ?

Cicerone Dec 18th, 2004 10:05 AM

The fireworks do generally start around 9 pm. Please call the hotel to make sure the night you arrive is actually the fireworks night, it is generally the second night of the holiday.

If you can get to the hotel, the good news is that you should be able to see the fireworks if you can fight your way onto the esplanade, or if you have a harbour view room, of which there are very few. Other than the formal Chinese restaurant, I donít believe any of the restaurants in the hotel have a harbour view, as they are blocked by the Intercontinental hotel. The bad news is that Salisbury Road and some of the streets leading to the hotel will either be closed or very crowded, you might want to check with the hotel as to whether they recommend that you even attempt to get there by car at that time.

If you can get there by car, the best way to see them without huge crowds would be to go have a drink in the lobby bar of the Intercontinental next door, or a meal at one of their restaurants with a harbour view, all of which are likely to be very crowded, you might call the Intercon to see if they would take a booking for their Harbourside Restaurant (more casual than Yu which has a great view but may not be what you want after arriving.)

Another option to consider is taking the Airport Express Train to the Hong Kong Island station, leaving your bags there at the Left Baggage counter, and walking about a block from the station (which is about a block from the water), from where you will be able to see the fireworks. It may be very crowded there, but you run that risk anywhere outside from where the fireworks are visible. You could even go have a drink at the Mandarin afterwards if you are not too tired. You could then take a taxi from the station over to the hotel. The drawback here is that when the fireworks are over, you have to head back to the station to collect your bags, and may have a bit of a wait to get a taxi and get back to the hotel, as the streets will be crowded with people departing from the fireworks.

It is extremely easy to take the Airport Express train. It leaves from the arrivals hall in the terminal, and arrives into Central in about 25 minutes. You can roll your luggage right on and off the trains. You can get all the info you need at http://www.hongkongairport.com/eng/a...airportex.html. There should be info there about bag storage at the Hong Kong Island station. Given security issues, I would call the Hong Kong Island station to confirm that they still have the Left Baggage service. Call 852-2523-3627.



galiano Dec 18th, 2004 04:14 PM

Cicerone you are a wonder ! :-)

Thank you for all your help. We are totally looking forward to the fireworks. I've faxed the New World Renaissance to ask about having a car pick us up at the airport. Worth the price to see the fireworks which I imagine are spectacular. Man this is a great bonus. We love HK and now this ! !

marmot Dec 18th, 2004 05:30 PM

Fireworks night is an exceptional night in Hong Kong. Since it's important to you (rightly so, it's a wonderful experience) is there any way that you could arrive one day earlier?

Barring that, you've made the right choice to trust your transport to the hotel. Ask for a stretch Benz so you can all go together. Once they get to the TST area they'll know how to get you and your luggage to the hotel as the streets will be blocked to cars and thronged with people. You will never have seen so many people in one place.

I don't know the starting time of the fireworks, but I remember that they are very prompt and do start whenever they say they will. They last about 1/2 an hour.

All the hotels and restaurants with harbour views have special (read expensive) dinners for fireworks night. If you're interested in booking a table at the New World or its more upscale neighbor the Intercontinental you should do so NOW. Actually the restaurant on the third level (I think) of the NW has a stupendous view, but either way don't plan to just wander in. If you have a harbour view room, you can party there.

Getting through immigration and customs in HK is fairly painless and I don't imagine that many people will be arriving that night. It is, however, a big airport so depending on where your plane parks it can be a long walk (sometimes with a train ride) to immigration. The ride to TST is about half an hour on normal nights, but for sure there will be traffic.

I hate to rain on your parade, but I think two hours on this particular night is really cutting it close. If in the worst case you get stuck in traffic, you could get the driver to continue on to the hotel with your luggage and you and your group could proceed on foot to the esplanade. In other cities this may be overly complicated but in Hong Kong it would be quite safe.

galiano Dec 18th, 2004 08:36 PM

Marmot : Thanks for the help. You may very well be right about 2 hours cutting it fine. I've just booked the hotel limo to come for us at the airport. It was only 450 HK dollars for 4 of us it's pretty reasonable and I'm hoping the driver will know the best way to get us to the hotel. Failing that, he can get us close and drop us off without luggage.
Now in saying all this, our plane could be late and well get there just in time to see the smoke not the fireworks ! :-)


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